Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Purchase v. Berryhill

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 20, 2017

KENT PURCHASE, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.[1]

          MEMORANDUM and ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         In accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), plaintiff Kent Purchase seeks judicial review of the final agency decision denying his application for Medicare coverage as a disabled individual pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 423.

         Procedural History

         Plaintiff applied for Medicare coverage in October 2011 and alleged that his disability began on May 16, 2011. (Tr. 115.) ALJ Roxanne J. Kelsey denied the plaintiff's application on 3 March 2014 after holding an evidentiary hearing. (Tr. 11-18.) The Appeals Council denied review, and the decision of the ALJ became the final agency decision. (Tr. 1.) Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies and filed a timely complaint in this Court.[2] Plaintiff is pro se here, but was represented by counsel at the administrative stage.

         Issues Raised by Plaintiff

         In his brief (Doc. 39), plaintiff argues that he is unable to return to his past work and cannot do any job that requires “excessive movement of [his] arms, knees, legs and back.” He also argues that his conditions are getting worse as he ages.

         Applicable Legal Standards

         Plaintiff did not have the sufficient quarters of coverage to qualify for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). He would be eligible for Medicare coverage based on a period of prior government employment, however, if he met the disability requirements for DIB as of his date last insured for Medicare coverage. See 42 U.S.C. § 1395c.

         For purposes of DIB, “disabled” means the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). A “physical or mental impairment” is an impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques. 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(3). “Substantial gainful activity” is work activity that involves doing significant physical or mental activities, and that is done for pay or profit. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1572.

         Social Security regulations set forth a sequential five-step inquiry to determine whether a claimant is disabled. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has explained this process as follows:

The first step considers whether the applicant is engaging in substantial gainful activity. The second step evaluates whether an alleged physical or mental impairment is severe, medically determinable, and meets a durational requirement. The third step compares the impairment to a list of impairments that are considered conclusively disabling. If the impairment meets or equals one of the listed impairments, then the applicant is considered disabled; if the impairment does not meet or equal a listed impairment, then the evaluation continues. The fourth step assesses an applicant's residual functional capacity (RFC) and ability to engage in past relevant work. If an applicant can engage in past relevant work, he is not disabled. The fifth step assesses the applicant's RFC, as well as his age, education, and work experience to determine whether the applicant can engage in other work. If the applicant can engage in other work, he is not disabled.

Weatherbee v. Astrue, 649 F.3d 565, 568-569 (7th Cir. 2011).

         Stated another way, the Commissioner must determine: (1) whether the claimant is presently unemployed; (2) whether the claimant has an impairment or combination of impairments that is serious; (3) whether the impairments meet or equal one of the listed impairments acknowledged to be conclusively disabling; (4) whether the claimant can perform past relevant work; and (5) whether the claimant is capable of performing any work within the economy, given his or her age, education and work experience. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520; Simila v. Astrue, 573 F.3d 503, 512-513 (7th Cir. 2009).

         This Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to ensure that the Commissioner made no mistakes of law and that decision is supported by substantial evidence. This scope of judicial review is limited. “The findings of the Commissioner of Social Security as to any fact, if supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive. . . .” 42 U.S.C. §405(g). Thus, this Court must determine not whether plaintiff was, in fact, disabled at the relevant time, but only whether the ALJ's findings were supported by substantial evidence and that the ALJ made no mistakes of law. See, Books v. Chater, 91 F.3d 972, 977-78 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Diaz v. Chater, 55 F.3d 300, 306 (7th Cir. 1995)). This Court uses the Supreme ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.